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ToddCannon
09-22-2011, 11:29 AM
I liked the Dark Knight books (the second was sloppy as hell but still good) but I have thought about it a lot and I just do not like Miller's vision of Superman. He paints him as some kind of super-powered "dumb jock/boy scout" and I just don't see it.

Superman is the ideal and the example, not the lapdog of the status quo.

Neither Batman or Lex Luthor is smarter than Superman!

Superman comes from a vastly advanced alien planet and has all the knowledge and technology of his people at his disposal.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm getting too old (41 here) but the Superman I remember is so much more than what Miller projected in the Dark Knight series.

Any thoughts, fellow True Believers?

ronin7
09-22-2011, 11:46 AM
Far for me to deflate your idea of Superman, but Superman was painted as a boy scout and a representative of American ideals back during the cold war years. The only thing Frank Miller was doing was expressing a satirical view of how the ideals Superman represented were so horribly skewed by politicians.

Nowadays, the political left and political right are so far to the extreme, that I think DKR and DKS are pretty much spot on in regards to how Superman can no longer relate to the American people since our ideals have changed a great deal since then.

Though, I think the social crusader Superman hardly relates to us now either.

ToddCannon
09-22-2011, 11:55 AM
I agree that his role as a representative of American ideals and as a social crusader are out-dated.

Still, I don't see him as such an easy person to dupe or even blackmail into the kind of corrupt cooperation we see in the books.

I think he'd have found a way to stop Luthor and Brainiac instead of bowing down to them like that.

In fact, I think he would have probably found a way to meet with Batman and the rest of the Justice League so they could work together to do just that.

Then again, that would have drastically changed the premise of the story, I suppose, hehe.

Bevan Thomas
09-22-2011, 02:21 PM
It's weird. A lot of people say that Superman is really degraded in Frank Miller's comics, but at least in "Dark Knight Returns" I felt that in many ways he was a very compelling figure. To me he came off as very honest and very powerful, and what I felt was really interesting was that Miller decided to portray him very much as a demigod who draws power from the Earth and the Sun.

The whole bizarre scene where he is dying because the smoke cuts him off from sunlight and he begs the Earth to help him, calling it his adopted mother and saying he has always loved her. And then all the plants die around him as the Earth decides to release their absorbed solar energy into Superman's body to heal him... I thought it was a strange through compelling scene and actually made Superman an interesting character there. Sure Batman and Green Arrow are totally scornful towards Superman in "Dark Knight Returns," but I don't think the audience is supposed to be.

ronin7
09-22-2011, 04:05 PM
I agree that his role as a representative of American ideals and as a social crusader are out-dated.

Still, I don't see him as such an easy person to dupe or even blackmail into the kind of corrupt cooperation we see in the books.

I think he'd have found a way to stop Luthor and Brainiac instead of bowing down to them like that.

In fact, I think he would have probably found a way to meet with Batman and the rest of the Justice League so they could work together to do just that.

Then again, that would have drastically changed the premise of the story, I suppose, hehe.

Clark is very literal. Meaning he doesn't see the subtler things that wouldn't go past Batman. It's evident in Byrne's MOS, and other stories. Not to mention Superman TAS.

PC812
09-22-2011, 11:22 PM
I thought Miller did a good job of portraying Superman in Dark Knight Returns as someone who was stuck between a rock and a hard place. You could see he was conflicted between his loyalty to his friend and his responsibility to his country. But in The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman & Robin, the portrayals of Superman were just absolute trash. I think Todd hit it right on the head, with Miller portraying Superman as this dumb jock/boy scout who is easily manipulated just for the sake of laughs.

ronin7
09-22-2011, 11:41 PM
I thought Miller did a good job of portraying Superman in Dark Knight Returns as someone who was stuck between a rock and a hard place. You could see he was conflicted between his loyalty to his friend and his responsibility to his country. But in The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman & Robin, the portrayals of Superman were just absolute trash. I think Todd hit it right on the head, with Miller portraying Superman as this dumb jock/boy scout who is easily manipulated just for the sake of laughs.

Um, Frank was making an allegory of how the American ideals have been twisted by witless fools. Batman's role in DKSA and ASBR was of the cynic populace who believes that no matter what the country does, it has strayed from its ideals. It's evident by Batman's contempt for the GCPD, the city officials, the heroes who think they are doing right, and the rules that politicians set only to break.

ToddCannon
09-27-2011, 11:40 AM
Maybe Miller was trying to make some sort of social statement and maybe he wasn't.

At the end of the day, IMHO, the problems presented in second Dark Knight book were nothing that Superman could not have solved all by himself.

This is a being that can push himself to move faster than light.

He can lift mountains!

His breath can freeze lakes, his gaze can level whole landscapes, the list goes on.

He doesn't bow down to mere mortals, he leads the way, he saves the day, he makes all the bad things go away!

That's why he's Superman!

Oh, and he also delivers toys to all the good little girls and boys! :har: